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WASHINGTON D.C. -- New cars sold in 2025 must get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) in 2025, according to the just-released Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards set forth by the Obama Administration.
The figure is almost double the 28.6 mpg that was required at the end of 2011. Automakers have already agreed to raise that number to 35.5 mpg by 2016.
Although the new standards seem to be a positive for all consumers, not everyone is on board. Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is one such dissenter, stating the increased CAFE standards will result in a higher sticker price for new cars.
The Obama Administration conceded the cost of a new car will rise by an average of $2,800 by 2025, which is based on 2010 dollars. However, the government added that net savings from the new requirements will be $3,500 to $5,000 due to less frequent fuel ups.
Although President Obama called the new standards the "single most important step" taken by the government to reduce its dependence of foreign oil, the changes are also no slam dunk for auto manufacturers. The Obama Administration estimated the new CAFE standards will cost the auto industry about $135 billion from 2017 to 2025.
However, General Motors said it will comply with the new standards. "Consumers want higher fuel efficiency in their cars and trucks, and GM is going to give it to them," company spokesman Greg Martin told the Associated Press.
But a large financial commitment is not the only challenge to automakers. How to make vehicles that can achieve the new CAFE standards is perhaps a larger challenge.The most likely way to raise mpg is to manufacture alternative fuel vehicles, experts say. That could lead to increased production of natural gas-, ethanol- and electric-powered vehicles.
For more on alternative fuels, please see the October issue of Convenience Store News.